According to Granma

Threats and Violence Lead to Tragedy

On January 29, the honorable U.S. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, in an interview on the Fox network, when talking about grandmother Raquel stated: "The man with whom her daughter went off from Cuba was a bully, and above all was a smuggler. When they set off from that little village they had to go back because there were problems with the boat. They went back to the shore and some people decided not to go ahead with the journey. Elián began to cry and said that he wanted to go back to his father, and we know that because the people who stayed behind have said it. And I believe that it is important that that is known."

Further on she adds: "Listen, the man who organized the failed expedition pulled out a knife when Elián began to cry and say that he wanted to go back to his father, and he said to Elián's mother: If you don't come with me, you will never see him again.' That is not a loving relationship. She was scared of him."
Dagoberto Munero Molina, Lázaro Munero's paternal uncle, testified: "I have no doubt that on returning from Saturday's illegal departure, Elizabeth intended to go back home, and my nephew threatened her, because he was violent and domineering with everyone, even his own father."

Who were those people that the [Cuban American National] Foundation claimed were honorable people, in front of a hundred journalists from around the world?

According to Granma, Elizabeth and Juan Miguel were teen sweethearts
Corbis Sygma
According to Granma, Elizabeth and Juan Miguel were teen sweethearts

Arianne Horta Alfonso was raised in a revolutionary family. She completed her primary and secondary education without difficulties and with a good academic performance.

At the end of 1989, still under age (12 years old) she married Michael Serra Basnuevo, who later left the country illegally and currently lives in the United States.

In 1991 she divorced and resumed her studies at the "José A. Echeverria" Adults School in Cárdenas, where she graduated from twelfth grade.

Two years later, in 1993, she entered a stable relationship with Victor Prudencio Herrera Reyes, which helped her to achieve the educational level previously mentioned. A daughter, Esthefany Rodriguez Horta, was born in 1994 to the couple, who were living in Arianne's parents' house, where there existed a healthy family environment in which respect and harmony prevailed. In August 1995 the couple separated, an unfortunate occurrence for which she was mainly responsible. As of this point, there was a sudden change in her behavior and she began to lead a disorganized and promiscuous life.

According to people who knew her well at the time, she was too fond of amenities, she dressed in an extravagant way, and spent most of her time in recreational centers in Varadero in the company of foreign tourists or young Cubans relatively well-off economically.

Due to the unpleasant and sensitive nature of the issue, we will leave out certain descriptions about her conduct and restrict ourselves to saying that her moral and social behavior was appalling. Her parents, who never agreed with it, repeatedly criticized her for it.

The responsibility of caring for her daughter fell mainly on her maternal grandparents, who take charge of her education and upbringing. It should be conceded that Arianne did pay her some attention and that she was careful to not let the instability of her love life affect the little girl. Despite this, the little girl displays certain psychological disorders aggravated since her mother's illegal departure for which she requires and is already receiving specialized care.

In April 1999, she began a new stable relationship with Nivaldo Fernandez Ferran. In October Arianne decided to break off the relationship with Nivaldo and go back home. They remained separated until November 19th 1999. The following day, under the pretext of going camping with the child, Arianne, who had already reconciled with Nivaldo, fetched the girl to take her on the illegal departure from the country. Later, for the said reasons she took her back to her grandparents, before finally leaving on November 22.

Nivaldo Vladimir Fernandez Ferran was born in Cárdenas to a humble, revolutionary, working class family. He spent his childhood in an environment characterized by a good education, without family conflicts and was considered to be a well-behaved and respectful child. He completed his elementary, junior, and high school education with good academic results and without any discipline problems.

When he completed the 12th grade, he neither carried on with his education nor did he take any jobs. He traveled to Czechoslovakia in 1986, with a collaboration and technical upgrading group, working for a period of eighteen months in the pneumatics industry, where he displayed discipline problems and was unjustifiably absent from work due to his excessive pursuit of sexual relationships. As a result of his behavior, he was invited to leave the factory and return to Cuba.

In 1987 he married Niurka Vega Arrieta, a marriage which only lasted two months due to constant arguments resulting from Nivaldo's arrogant and selfish position opposing his wife's interest in studying and going as far as to assaulting and battering her.

In December 1989 he married Rosa Elba Fernandez Perez, who he had known since his trip to Czechoslovakia, and he stayed with her for ten years, until his illegal departure from the country. He had many arguments with Rosa Elba as well due to his philandering with other women.

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